4 tricks to deliver employee communication treats

30 October 2020

By Graeme Cook

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Halloween is upon us – the time of year where we celebrate the scarier things in life.

However, that shouldn’t extend to how you communicate with colleagues.

Back in the day, employee communications often consisted of sending ad hoc business-wide emails, organising internal events and sending out semi-regular newsletters… but thankfully for many, times have changed.  

Today, more businesses know there’s an art in inspiring conversations and getting messages to stick – but we’re aware the thought of promoting an internal campaign or initiative can give people nightmares.

Which is why we’ve put together a handy list of communication tricks to make sure your content is a treat for audiences all year round.

1. Creep it real and avoid scary jargon and cliches
Using simple words and phrases is one of the best ways to get your communications to land. Whether you’re verbally presenting or writing a message, take a moment to consider if there’s a better option for the words you’re using. For instance, instead of taking a ‘granular’ look, can we not look at something ‘in more detail’? Why talk about ‘paradigm shifts’ when we can say ‘change in approach’? Does everyone know what “starter for 10” actually means? (Not everyone watches University Challenge!) And if you’re communicating topics such as share plans, avoid using terms like ‘vesting’ and ‘lapse’ or at least provide a clear explanation of what they mean.

2. Don’t drive colleagues batty by making assumptions
It’s common for people to think everyone has similar views, beliefs, expectations and even financial stability. For instance, if you create a campaign about benefits on offer, don’t suggest “just giving up your daily Costa coffee will mean you can take up the benefit” – this is far from the norm of many. The more feedback you get on communication strategies and draft content, the more inclusive and representative your messages will be thanks to colleagues identifying any assumptions you’ve made.

3. Boo-lieve in the power of accessibility
Do you think about colour blindness when selecting an image or preparing a graphic? Do you subtitle videos for those who are hard of hearing? More than one billion of us experience some form of disability – and by putting people most in need at the centre of your plans, everyone benefits. There are countless tools available to support audiences with disabilities, such as several simple steps you can take to make your PowerPoint slides more accessible for everyone.

4. Get under the skin of your audience
Before communicating with anyone, do everything possible to learn about your audience. If you’re presenting, preparing in advance allows you to better judge the best tone of voice and points of reference. If you’re getting ready to send out a business-wide email, do you know if everyone understands the language you’ve written it in – or even has access to emails? To give your message the best chance of making an impact, ask your team usually responsible for communications for advice on the type of content to create and what channels of communication will work best. However, if you’re struggling to get under the skin of your audience, carrying out a communications audit and building an audience dashboard to map out the findings can add real value – if you need additional support to do this Eximia is here to help.

How information circulates among employees has come a long way in the past decade and will only continue at a pace with remote working and advances in tech.

Once you develop a thoughtful approach to communicating with your people, you can start solving the mystery of getting your messages to stick and make a real impact.

So, make the most of these tricks to avoid a communication horror show and you’ll be one step closer to a spooktacular result.
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Want to know more? We’d love to better understand how we can help you overcome communication challenges and unlock opportunities, so don’t be afraid to get in touch. 

Graeme Cook

Head of Communications

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